Fingertips inched higher, reaching up to the sky, until I felt my shoulders burn from my stretch and my spine lengthen.  I shut my eyes before dragging the cool, untainted air of early morning until my lungs expanded against my ribs. I caged it in, until I gave in fully to a crescendoing need to release my breath. It warmed my lips as it escaped.

We decided on 5 miles today… towards the much needed training for the looming race.  The graveled pathway was clear, yet Winter’s touch was undeniable on once green shrubbery that lined the way and kept us clear away of the bay.

Words were scant… a greeting here and there to fellow runners, a good-humored story of a Christmas gathering, a brief conversation on angels, and brief exchanges on distance and pace.

The sun casted back against the calm waters of the bay, and the water glistened glaringly.  Just halfway through our training, the sun made known its heat through the many layers I wore, and I drew the zipper of my fleece jacket downward to expose my neck and admit the cool air in.  (On an aside: My ears were toasty as I didn’t forget my ear muffs this time! 😉 )

On our return, at the 4-mile marker, I noticed the stench of car exhaust tainting the once pristine morning air. I was saddened by this, but…

I was grateful for the moment I did have respiring unsullied air while I trained this morning.